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Thursday 12 May 2011 | Published in Regional


Tuesday nights annual Turtles Sportswear Round the Island Cycle Race saw 51 hardy cyclists tackle a wet and windy circuit of Rarotonga.

Side winds buffeted the cyclists and later a head wind with rain characterised the race.

The stronger riders started quickly out of the town centre toward Tupapa and around 20 were still together at Muri.

However, at Tikioki before the halfway mark a break lead by Allan Bieber of Australia and Ryan Helg from NZ split the group with speeds around 50kph and just seven held on at the front with the rest dropping back. The second bunch was then lead much of the time by Terry Meyer, Leighton Hunt and Tom Pirie.

The front seven were reduced to six by the time they approached the Met Station at Nikao and another burst of speed by leaders Ryan Helg, Geoff Stoddart, Stephen Farrell and Roland Neururer left Richard Vinsen and Allan Bieber further back.

With the finish just a few kilometres away, tactics, drafting and jockeying for good position came in to play as the head wind along Panama slowed the riders.

Vinsen was able to bridge the gap back up to the lead four and when the final charge came on with one kilometre to go Geoff Stoddart was in front and held this all the way to the line to hold off Roland Neururer for second with Richard Vinsen just overtaking Helg and Farrell for third, making the race a trifecta for local riders.

Steve Farrell, the winner of Saturdays Air New Zealand Triathlon, was 4th, Ryan Helg 5th and Allan Bieber 6th.

The winning time at 48:04 was a couple of minutes slower than previous years due to the winds and wet road in places.

First female Kelly Pick (51:23) was in the second bunch of 5 riders lead in by Tom Pirie and Leighton Hunt and included Kevin Hopkins (NZ) and Terry Meyer (CI).

Second female was Vanessa Palmer and third was Fiona Deed (NZ).

First Australian was Allan Bieber (6th) and first Australian woman was Joan Beecroft.

Commendable ride times were achieved by Terry Meyer as 4th local male (51:31), Rangi Apera 3rd local female, Jacob Pynenburg 1st local junior (56:03) and Caitlin Pirie 1st female junior.

Most of these collected a commemorative Turtles Cycle Race yellow shirt and regular visitor to Rarotonga Noel White, as last to finish, collected the last sponsored shirt.

The Triathlon Association is grateful to Richard Brewer and Stuart Whyte of Sports Timing New Zealand Ltd for the electronic timing of the Air New Zealand Triathlon last Saturday as well as the cycle race. This saved much manual work and allowed results to be printed quickly. Thanks also to The Computer Man Ltd for their assistance to Sports Timing NZ Ltd

The Triathlon Association also extends its thanks to Chris McKinley of Turtles Sportswear for again sponsoring the winners and place getters shirts.

Thanks also to head official Len Edwards for his untiring work with event set ups and Rebecca Brown, Karlene Pynenburg, Terai Hill, Liz Koteka, Jennie George, Ali Napa and John Paul Wilson for their help as well as Cook Islands Police for providing the motorcycle escort to assist safety. Meitaki maata.


Full results Geoff Stoddart 0:48:04, Roland Neururer 0:48:05, Richard Vinsen 0:48:06, Stephen Farrell 0:48:07, Ryan Helg 0:48:08, Allan Bieber 0:48:41, Tom Pirie 0:51:13, Leighton Hunt 0:51:13, Kevin Hopkins 0:51:15, Kelly Pick 0:51:23, Terry Myer 0:51:31, Dan Roberts 0:52:17, Paul Brown 0:53:08, Peter Abrahamson 0:53:12, Garry Buys 0:53:16, Kevin Henderson 0:53:16, Fiona Deed 0:53:17, Vanessa Palmer 0:53:17, Emma Owens 0:53:18, Arama Tom 0:53:19, Jorge Ramos 0:53:20, Jo Carrel 0:53:21, Mark Worthington 0:53:22, Bob Thomas 0:53:38, Simon Aley 0:53:45, Roger Martin 0:55:59, Rangi Apera 0:55:59, Jacob Pynenburg 0:56:03, Rhys Woodger 0:56:06, Greg Gustafson 0:56:11, Jeff Cook 0:56:14, Sharon Smith 0:56:20, Apii Napa 0:56:53, Shirley Rolston 1:00:29, Henry Heather 1:01:40, Jules Maher 1:01:41, Ann Bondy 1:01:43, Justin Henderson 1:03:06, Melanie Wilson 1:03:27, Stephen Helg 1:03:35

Joan Beecroft 1:03:36, Andy Olah 1:03:37, Bruce Henderson 1:04:07, Alec Hill 1:04:52, Allan Middleton 1:05:41, Mona Henderson 1:12:00, Katie Black 1:12:08, Rob Mackenzie 1:13:51, Caitlin Pirie 1:15:08, Catriona Pirie 1:15:10, Noel White 1:21:34.